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Games also started to appear on Windows as it grew in popularity. In it, before any eroticism, the user has to first win the affection of one of a number of female characters, making the story into an interactive romance novel. Soon afterwards, the video game Otogirisou on the Super Famicom attracted the attention of many Japanese gamers.
Otogirisou was a standard adventure game but had multiple endings. In 1996, the new software publisher Leaf expanded on this idea, calling it a visual novel and releasing their first successful game, Shizuku, a horror story starring a rapist high school student, with very highly reviewed writing and music. However, in 1997, they released To Heart, a sweetly sentimental story of high school love that became one of the most famous and trendsetting eroge ever.
The eroge company Nitro has a division that produces exclusively BL games, known as Nitro CHi RAL.
After a similar game by Tactics, One: Kagayaku Kisetsu e, became a hit in 1998, Visual Art's scouted main creative staff of One to form a new brand under them, which became Key. It contains only about seven brief erotic scenes in a sentimental story the size of a long novel (an all-ages version was also released afterward), but the enthusiasm of the response was unprecedented, and Kanon sold over 300,000 copies.
Eroge was much less common on consoles - only NEC's PC Engine series had officially licensed adult games, and from the mid-90s, Sega's Saturn.
Both Nintendo and Sony disallowed adult video games on their consoles.
Boys' Love (BL) games (also known as yaoi games) usually refers to eroge oriented around male homosexual couples for the female market.
The defining distinction is that both the playable character(s) and possible objects of affection are male.
A 2006 breakdown of the Japanese commercial BL market estimated it grosses approximately 12 billion yen annually, with video games generating 160 million yen per month.